Auction Update Review


The Tide Comes In

For the week ending Saturday September 24th seven sales were archived:  two in dollars, one in Euros and four in British Pounds.   Sales totaled $7,227,055 against the aggregate high bid of $10,948,335 – achieving 71% of the total high estimate.  Two thousand six hundred eighty-six lots were offered and 2,147 sold for a stellar 80% sell-through.  That the percentage of lots sold was high and the percentage achieved of the aggregate high estimate lower [71%] suggests bidders held back on some of the most expensive lots.  In a period of economic uncertainty market perception of fair market value will be in flux and valuations, in some sectors, decline.  This said, no one week provides more than anecdotal evidence of market breadth and direction. 

Book buyers buy books however, not markets and so long as estimates, availability and estimated probability of reappearance seem appropriate purchases in this period may prove to be good investments. 

For the week ahead 16 sales are scheduled.  The fall season is upon us.

Monday Sept 26

              Artcurial Briest-Le Fur-Poulain-F.Tajan:  Collection d’un amateur de marine;

              Australian Book Auctions: Books, Maps, Prints, Manuscripts;

              Cowan’s Auctions: Mass marketed Stereoviews, Curved Mounts;

Tuesday Sept 27

              Australian Book Auctions: Books, Maps, Manuscripts …continued;

              Bonhams: Books, Maps and Historical Photographs;

              Christie’s: L’age d’or du rail – Souvenir de la Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-lits;

              Dorotheum: Posters, Advertising Art, Comics, Film and Photo History;

              Sotheby’s: Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints;

 Wednesday Sept 28

              Christie’s: Americana Print Collection;

              Mealy’s Auctioneers:The Collector’s Sale;

 Thursday Sept 29    

              Bloomsbury Auctions: Modern and Contemporary Prints;

              Christie’s: Travel, Science and Natural History;

              Key’s Fine Arts: Book Days 1;

Friday Sept 30          

              Key’s Fine Arts: Book Days 2;

              Keifer-Buch-and-Kunstauktionen: Books;

              Marc van de Wiele Auctions:  Books

The week is thick with possibilities.

Bruce McKinney


  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.